Original Joe’s eyes Easthill Centre site

The owners of a popular downtown restaurant are casting their eyes southeast.

The owners of a popular downtown restaurant are casting their eyes southeast.

Trevor Rowden, managing partner of Original Joe’s Restaurant and Bar at 4720 51st Ave., said he and his counterparts in the business would like to open another restaurant at Easthill Centre in the former Blockbuster Canada premises. The new outlet could be another Original Joe’s, or a State & Main Kitchen & Bar — which is another banner of the Original Joe’s Franchise Group.

Rowden said the required municipal approvals are still being sought, but if they’re successful the new restaurant could be open by August.

It would have seating for 124, but not an outdoor patio.

If the Original Joe’s banner is selected, the menu would be the same as the first restaurant. However, its interior would be Original Joe’s updated version.

With the State & Main concept, the interior would have a more rustic look, said Rowden.

“The menu would be very similar.”

The downtown Original Joe’s, which has been operating for more than six years, has performed very well in Red Deer, said Rowden.

“The market is fantastic.”

He’s optimistic residents of the city’s southeast, where there are few options when it comes to sit-down dining, would embrace an Original Joe’s or a State & Main.

The first Original Joe’s opened in Calgary in 1997. Today there are about 45 from Victoria to Winnipeg, with plans to expand east.

The first State & Main Kitchen & Bar is scheduled to open shortly in Lethbridge, with others proposed for Winnipeg and other centres.

In addition to his Red Deer restaurant, Rowden is involved in the Original Joe’s in Prince Albert, Sask. and Airdrie.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

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